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Think No Evil: Inside the Story of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting...and Beyond

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  263 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
THE TRUE STORY OF OCTOBER 2, 2006, WHEN CHARLES ROBERTS ENTERED AN AMISH SCHOOLHOUSE, bound and shot ten schoolgirls, and then committed suicide, stunned all who read the headlines or watched the drama unfold on television screens. Somehow, the senseless violence seemed all the more horrific against the backdrop of horse-and-buggy funeral processions and scenes of wide-eye ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Howard Books (first published August 31st 2009)
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Mar 26, 2010 Leeanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think No Evil: Inside the Story of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting...and Beyond, by Jonas Beiler, with Shawn Smucker

In October 2006, the world was shocked when a man entered an Amish schoolhouse and shot 10 girls inside, and then killed himself. When the Amish proceeded to forgive the killer, the concept of Amish forgiveness may have shocked the world even more.

Jonas Beiler is perfect to tell the story of the Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting. While he was raised in an Amish family, he chose not
Jan 09, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How do the surviving families forgive the man who shot 10 innocent Amish schoolgirls before turning the gun on himself? Is it even possible? It is possible and Beiler shares how the Amish families and their greater community have walked the walk and not only forgiven the shooter but forged an abiding friendship with his widow and children.

The author himself grew up in an Old Order Amish family but chose to leave as an adult so he has an insider perspective which allows him to share insights with
Nora St Laurent
Jul 09, 2015 Nora St Laurent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After such a tragedy how could the Amish not think of doing evil to the man that shot and killed their innocent little girls. It was an amazing site to behold for the world who takes an eye for an eye. Revenge is mine this world says—watch out. Forgiveness is the choice the Amish families made that tragic day October 2, 2006. “We forgive because we can not forget…God commanded them to forgive seventy times seven.”

The author Jonas tells of how the peaceful Amish community quickly sought to comfo
Jan 06, 2010 Laren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was reading a true-crime book with an Amish twist, but instead I got an impressive lesson on forgiveness. This is not a long book, but within it you actually get three non-fiction stories. One is the story of the Amish Schoolhouse shootings you may recall from the news in 2006. The other is a brief history of the Amish, and why they choose to forgive in the face of injustice, including these school shootings. Also, you get a look at the author's own life as it pertains the other stor ...more
Jennifer W
Dec 16, 2012 Jennifer W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
So much pain, so much sadness. How do you cope? How do you get past the anger? For the Amish, you pray, you believe your loved one is waiting to see you in Heaven, and you forgive. You forgive the family of the shooter, and the shooter himself, even though he is already gone. You think no evil of the man who has ripped your life apart. He, too, suffered, and his family is suffering as you are. You offer comfort and support even as you are in need of it yourself.

I looked this book up in the midd
Clockstein Lockstein
Think No Evil by Jonas Beiler and Shawn Smucker is an inside look at the Nickel Mines Amish School shooting of October 2, 2006. Beiler grew up in an Amish home before deciding at the age of 15 to live on the outside, so he has a unique perspective to share on this story that captivated the nation. The world couldn't look away as the news came in about a man who walked into an Amish school, sent out the boys and women, tied up the girls, boarded over the doors and windows and then proceeded to sh ...more
Anyone who has ever had to forgive someone for whom forgiveness didn't come naturally...definitely read this book. It chronicles the Amish school shootings that occurred in 2006 in Nickel Mines, PA...about 30 min. from where I was living at the time. I watched this story unfold with horror at how anyone could do something so awful to such a peaceful people group, especially the most innocent of them - their little girls. Jonas Beiler, who was once Amish himself and is the husband of the founder ...more
Apr 11, 2011 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This was a wonderful, quick read. This book is all about the Amish schoolhouse shooting and how the Amish community reacted to that violence with forgiveness. I thought it was very well written. The time spent on the actual events of that day was relatively little, so the tone was not morbid or upsetting. Instead, the focus was mostly on the people, both inside and outside the Amish community, and how the events impacted them emotionally. It explains a lot about Amish culture and how forgiveness ...more
Doctor Sax
GREAT message delivered in this astounding tale of forgiveness. The writing is one dimensional and slanted. When it comes to the actual events that occurred at Nickel Mines and the victims this is the way it should be-they were innocent victims. The author continually expounds on how great the Amish people and lifestyle are that it makes it hard to attach credibility to his point of view at times. He says he was born into this culture yet, he has left this lifestyle for greener pastures. All in ...more
Elizabeth James
Jul 14, 2015 Elizabeth James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book describes how one Amish community transformed a horrible tragedy into an opportunity to witness to the world about forgiveness. One concept that kept coming to the forefront is the idea of choice. The Amish choose their faith. Children raised in the faith are still given the opportunity to choose. And each day, we all choose how we will live, how we will act toward others, and whether to forgive.

Written by a man who grew up Amish but chose a different path, this book serves as an oppor
Nov 25, 2009 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book about forgiveness. Would have given it 5 stars if the writing had been a little better, but the story is compelling and moving. It is the story of the Amish schoolhouse shooting in Pennsylvania and its aftermath. Most of the story is about the Amish virtue of forgiveness. After the shootings, in which 5 Amish girls and the shooter died, the Amish community reached out to both the shooting victims' families and the shooter's family.

Judie Dooley
Oct 17, 2013 Judie Dooley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think No Evil is the story of The Amish schoolhouse shootiing. I remember hearing about it on Tv back when it happened. What a tragig loss of young lives. The book left me in tears.I think the book should have been caled "FORGIVENESS" as it's all about how the Amish people are able to forgive the unspeakable. I don't think I coud do that.
Nov 29, 2009 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I would have liked to have more information about the Shooter and his motives, this is a really important book. The Amish's ability to forgive the shooter, fascinated the world and for good reason. Their actions/beliefs are something to think about and maybe learn from. There are lessons in this book.
Kirsten Weaver
As most other reviews have stated, it was much more about forgiveness than the actual crime. I was disappointed a bit not getting more about the event and the psychology behind it, but perhaps no one really knows since the shooter killed himself as well.

The Amish ability to forgive wasn't as shocking or intriguing to me as it is to most, having just spent the last two years in Rwanda where the idea of radical forgiveness is paramount every day. But I do think it could be a really good lesson to
Nov 05, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, dcar, 2012
This was a decent enough book, chronicling the Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse shooting of October 2006. I had previously read books about the same subject so understood a good deal of the implications that Amish lifestyle has on forgiveness, particularly in the wake of this particular tragedy. I read this book with a different purpose than other books I have read on the topic though. Normally, I would be reading about this situation for the aspects of forgiveness and the implications for the fut ...more
John Kennedy
Dec 16, 2010 John Kennedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jonas Beiler tells of how the Amish quickly forgave the shooter who killed five girls and wounded five other girls in a Pennsylvania schoolhouse in 2006 before killing himself. Beiler, a counselor in the area who was raised Amish, tells how such Christlike forgiveness of befriending the killer's family had a healing impact on the victims. Along the way Beiler recounts the sometimes slow painful recovery he made following the death of his twentysomething brother in a motorcycle accident, the deat ...more
Adriane Devries
For many, our first reaction to violence is to seek retribution, but for the Amish, it is an opportunity to extend the relentless love and forgiveness of the Lord, who prayed for his torturers while he hung on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” When a man known to the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsyvania, barricaded himself in a one-room schoolhouse full of children and proceeded to shoot ten innocent girls, their religious ideals would be put through the ...more
Nov 21, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly difficult story to read. A senseless crime that would seem unbearable to deal with, and yet the Amish are so simplistic in their forgiveness. Yet it was anything but simple. It was an act of faith based on God's Word. It certainly puts personal retribution in a grim light. At the end, I took a long look at the petty issues that I have yet to forgive...and go to work on myself.
Heartbreaking story. On October 2, 2006 Charles Roberts walked in, bound and shot little girls in their Amish Schoolhouse. It reads like a memoir, includes short stories about the Author Jonas Beiler who grew up in the Amish community. Due to subject not a easy read but is a quick read because of the writing.
Aug 02, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is a first person account of the Amish School killings. The author lives in the community and works as a counselor. He was raised Amish, but he and his wife had opted out of that lifestyle. He has stayed and worked within the community, and his life is still immersed in the Amish culture. While he recounts what happened on that day, he looks deeper into the Amish community and their belief in forgiveness and not revenge or retribution. The book gives one a lot to think about and made m ...more
Once a few years ago, very close to the time that the shooting in Nickle Mines happened, I heard a sermon at my church about true forgiveness. One of the ways the speaker described forgiveness was by sharing how the Amish forgave because it was part of their faith and that because of this reason it was not true forgiveness. The analogy never sat right with be because as a Christian I am commanded to forgive... whether it is easy or not. So because I have to make a choice about it does it not mak ...more
Nov 04, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Forgiveness is a decision to release yourself from anger, resentment, hate, or the urge for revenge despite the injury you suffered. Forgiveness is letting go of hope for a different past (P.178)." I think the very reason this tragedy happened is that the man who caused such pain and devastation could not let go of his hope of a different past with his own daughter Elise. It reminds me of the only comparable time of devastation in my own life: the death of my brother's best friend and his fathe ...more
Jan 14, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read. The parts about forgiveness were especially powerful. Near the end, the author's belief in God was mentioned quite a bit, but only one sentence felt preachy to me. I feel like I understand my Amish ancestry better after reading this.
Jan 22, 2011 John rated it really liked it
A very interesting and enlightening book. The first part of the book is about the school shootings and the second part is about forgiveness. How the Amish use forgiveness as a tool for healing. How anger and revenge will continue to torment you. The grief and loss never go away but forgiveness is a better coping mechanism.

The book goes on to explain how forgiveness can help in day to day situations, not just in catastrophic ones. I'm sure I would be the vengeful type but hopefully this book woul
Sarah C. White
Feb 10, 2015 Sarah C. White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book on humility and forgiveness

It is an interesting read on the Amish. But the greater good is their understanding of forgiveness. It made me want to strive to do much better.
Johann Christoph Arnold
If you wonder if you would be able to forgive the unthinkable, this is the book to read. It clarifies how the way of forgiveness frees the survivors of tragedy to live, and to heal.
Jul 28, 2013 Betti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It would be difficult to say I enjoyed this book, as it is such a sad story. That being said, I am very glad I read this book. It helped me start to understand how important true forgiveness is. It is still difficult for me to fathom how much it must hurt to lose a child, never mind in such a violent way. The Amish people lost much innocence on that day in October, 2006, but they did not lose their ability to forgive! I am grateful to those who were there to help the girls, knowing that it must ...more
Joe and I went to Amish Acres this past week and I gathered an armful of Amish-themed books. This one literally kept me up half the night while on vacation. It tells the true story of a one-room Amish schoolhouse shooting in Lancaster County, PA. In chilling detail it outlines the night before, morning of and aftermath of one man's horrific crime on these most peaceful of people. Even more shocking than the crime is the Amish community's response. Their immediate impulse is to forgive the killer ...more
Jul 23, 2010 Shirley added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Danielle Kasznia, Julie Lovisa
The main focus in this book isn't on the's a lesson on forgiveness that will

stay with you long after you have read this book. A review from Don Eberly....The author

captures the experience of a community having to come to terms with an episode of

homegrown violence that will never be understood or explained. He portrays the Amish, who

are at the center of this drama, as real people who struggle with grief and anger like

the rest of us, yet who rose above it through faith to offer a h
Dec 19, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered this book this las weekend following the CT shooting. This is book is wonderful at letting us know the life of the Amish and how they react to losses in their life. This book tells the story of the Nickel Mines school tragedy in Lancaster County PA. The theme is how and why forgiveness is good for a person. Tells us about true forgiveness. That forgiveness is not forgetting as one can never forget how their lives were changed on that day. In my opinion, this is a must read for all o ...more
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Jonas Beiler grew up in a traditional Old-Order Amish family in the 1950s. He is the cofounder and chairman of The Angela Foundation. He is also a licensed family counselor and founder of Family Resource and Counseling Center and The Family Center of Gap, both located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Jonas is married to Anne Beiler, founder and creator of Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzels, an acclaime ...more
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